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NAR: New Construction Needs to Catch Up to Job Creation

Measuring new homebuilding against employment numbers—which only recently recovered from their recessionary decline—the National Association of Realtors finds that historically, there is one new home built for every 1.5 jobs added to the economy. As of the first quarter, 32 states and the District of Columbia are above that ratio, meaning job growth has far outpaced new construction over the past three years.

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Mortgage Choice Act Clears House Vote

A bill designed to amend mortgage fee calculations under new industry rules cleared a major hurdle Monday, passing the House despite reservations from critics who say it may reopen the door to irresponsible lending. Introduced last year by a bipartisan group of representatives, H.R. 3211 would amend TILA to exempt fees from affiliated title companies from counting toward the 3 percent point and fee threshold established in the QM rule.

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Rising Costs Turn Per-Loan Profits into Losses

After a rough 2013—which saw average per-loan profits decline by nearly half year-over-year—mortgage banks are now losing money on each loan originated, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Tuesday. According to the trade group, independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks reported a net loss of $194 on each loan originated in the first quarter of the year.

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Urban Institute Breaks Down GSE Denial Rates

A new blog post from the Urban Institute asserts recent numbers on loan denial rates for minorities weren't too high; rather, they may have been too low. Using HMDA data, the group examined the credit profiles of applicants, noting that the denial rate really only matters for weaker credit profile applicants—they are more likely to get denied.

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Economic Concerns Weigh on May Housing Confidence

Consumers' attitudes about housing diminished somewhat last month as economic worries weighed on their minds, according to new survey results from Fannie Mae. "While recent housing activity suggests that the worst of the housing slump may be behind us, this caution among consumers supports our expectation that the rebound in home sales will likely be too modest to pull sales for all of 2014 ahead of last year," Doug Duncan, chief economist.

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Forecasters Revise Expectations on Disappointing May Production

In a letter to clients, analysts at investment banking services firm FBR Capital Markets said they are lowering their 2014 origination outlook to $989 billion from an earlier forecast of nearly $1.1 trillion. "After an April where volumes had increased for the first time in a year, we had grown modestly more optimistic," the firm said. "Now, we believe May results could prove to be a leading indicator of what is shaping up to be the weakest ... year in recent memory."

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More than 300K Homes Back in Equity in Q1

An analysis by CoreLogic found that roughly 6.3 million properties, or 12.7 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage, had negative equity as of Q1 2014. The first quarter of 2014 saw a decline from the fourth quarter of 2013, when 6.6 million homes had negative equity, or 13.4 percent. Underwater homes have a national aggregate value of negative equity of $383.7 billion at the end of the quarter.

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